Illustration: @SomeHoodlum

“The Grail” is a series paying tribute to the prized, coveted status of the Air Jordan XI Concord. First worn on MJ’s feet in 1995, the shoe has transcended the court to become not just a lifestyle classic but an icon worthy of any court, field or stage. Here, Victor Oladipo gives his take on what makes the XI Concord a must-have sneaker.

“I first saw the AJXI Concords when I was in the 12th grade, and I remember how big of a deal they were when they came out. It’s one of those shoes that looks great whether you wear it with basketball clothes or with regular clothes. Find you a shoe that can do that both, right?! [Laughs] People wear them when they get married, or they have their bridesmaids and groomsmen wear them. That means it’s a special shoe.

“In my opinion, that’s why the Concord is so huge around the holidays; it’s a special gift to give people, too. They have the number 45, a number that reflects being underrated and proving people wrong, like I have. Like MJ showed everyone, it’s not the jersey you wear, it’s the person who wears the jersey.

“I’m just happy that I get these new ones early! It’s going to be really cold in Indiana, but I’ll wear these with something simple yet extravagant to make sure the shoe pops — so that everyone notices.”

—Victor Oladipo

The Air Jordan XI Concord is available globally on SNKRS and at select retailers starting December 8. Learn more about the Air Jordan XI on Jordan Collection.